Under Wraps recycled old Disney ideas into an unflattering repetition of unhappy nostalgia

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The movie poster for Disney Channel Original Movie, Under Wraps.

As a kid, Disney Channel Halloween movies and TV episode specials terrified me. 

It didn’t matter how predictable the special was, I was still scared to go to bed afterward. There were a few exceptions over the years. They were either predictable enough for me to not be scared or were just downright boring. Under Wraps fell into both of these categories. 

Under Wraps tells the story of three sixth-grade kids around Halloween night. Childhood best friends Marshall (Malachi Barton) and Gilbert (Christian J. Simon), along with new student Amy (Sophia Hammons), unleash a mummy from their neighbor’s, Mr. Kubot’s (Brent Stait), basement. The kids had been visiting a museum with their history class when the guide told them that one of the mummies had been stolen on its way to the museum. Gilbert immediately thought of the suspicious object that he and Marshall had seen Mr. Kubot bring into his house the previous night. Amy, who was paired with the boys by chance of the buddy system, becomes involved in the chase for a story as a future investigative journalist. As the kids learn more about the myth of the mummy’s amulet, they must race to save Harold (Phil Wright)—the mummy—while avoiding their creepy thief of a neighbor.

Yes, this movie does sound enticing. The short snippet that I read and the trailer that I saw made me excited to watch it. Sadly, in no world was it worth my time.

It could be many, based on the constant reuse of film aspects in the Disney community. ”

The film was full of foreseeable circumstances. The kids see suspicious packages going into their neighbor’s house and learn of a possible, yet unbelievable, reason for the arrival of said packages. Their parents don’t know about anything, even when they are out late at night. The mummy ends up just wanting to be friends with the trio, and that forces them to keep him overnight in Marshall’s house. Harold makes loads of noise and almost gets caught by Marshall’s mother, Diane (Jordana Largy). This is all rather anticipated and overused.

Worn-out Halloween clichés were abundant in Under Wraps. I found that Marshall forcing Gilbert to touch their scary neighbor’s door to face his fears is all too ordinary in Disney movies and TV shows. As a matter of fact, I believe I saw the same circumstance in the first episode of Disney’s Secrets of Sulphur Springs, which came out within a few months of Under Wraps. At a later point in the movie, Gilbert has a conversation with an owl in which the owl only responds with “who?” This conversation led Gilbert to rethink his rash decisions and go to help his friends. I am certain I saw this in another Disney program as well—though, I cannot remember which one. It could be many, based on the constant reuse of film aspects in the Disney community. 

Under Wraps also raised some serious questions of mine. I am perplexed that the parents of sixth-graders were allowing them to wander the streets after dark on a school night. As a sophomore, I’m still barely allowed to do such a thing. The super-strength of Harold also befuddled me. As an over one-thousand-year-old mummy, I would have thought his bones would be brittle and easy to break. But by Disney magic and logic, he can throw two grown men at once. While I obviously know this is all theatrical, I expected more from Disney than to go so far as to make a mummy have superhuman strength.

Now, while I love Disney and the connections it makes between films and TV shows—like “Calling All the Monsters” by China Anne McClain from ANT Farm playing in one scene—I hate the constant recycling of ideas. They never seem to have new original ideas and keep reusing old ones.

Unfortunately, Under Wraps was a perfect example of this and isn’t worth the time of viewers if they have seen any previous Disney programs.